Connecting Point

Connecting Point: February 6, 2022

The first step toward Christian discipleship in the Gospel according to Luke is leaving behind fear and placing our trust in the Lord.  We see this in the gospel passage for this Sunday.  Simon Peter, a professional fisherman, has been fishing all night and caught nothing.  Yet, when Jesus tells him to cast his net one more time, Peter obeys. He trusts in Jesus.  The results: the catch of fish was so great that the nets were at the breaking point, and the boat was close to sinking! Much better, and pretty good results!

Then, showing further trust in the Lord; Simon, his brother Andrew, and John and James, the sons of Zebedee, leave everything to follow Jesus.  What an act of trust that had to be! They left everything, including their profitable business, their family, and their way of life.  The results: through teaching the words of Jesus, they brought the Good News and salvation to thousands! Much better and pretty good results!

So the question: “How can I fine-tune my trust to get better results?”

Let’s keep in mind that “faith” really means “trust,”  and opposite of “faith” in scripture is “fear.” This is the fear that Jesus warns Peter of in today’s Gospel.  You would not be in church this weekend, or joining us online, or reading this if you did not already have faith and trust in Jesus.  So we are off to a good start.  We just need to “move the knob” a bit to fine tune our faith.

In todays’ gospel, Jesus tells Peter to cast his net into the “deep.”  This is symbolic; in order to catch the abundant life that Jesus offers us, we must go deep inside ourselves to that place where God and his grace dwells.  It is also the place where fears reside.  Such as the fear of not being “successful” in the way our culture measures success if we were to follow Jesus and his teaching: the fear of leaving behind anger and prejudice and hatred if we are truly to love our enemy and welcome the stranger, the fear that God will not provide for us if we generously share what we have with those in need, the fear of “living simply, so that others may simply live,” the fear of death, and much more!  Like the fish that are brought from the darkness of the sea to the light of day, lifting these fears into the light through prayer and reflection on Jesus’ words may allow us to see more clearly the fears that we are unaware of but which control our lives and keep us in the dark.  We then trust in Jesus and his word, let go of our fears, move into the light, and have the result of a more joy-filled and meaningful life as true disciples of the Lord…and eternal life to boot!  These are much better and pretty good results.